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Nine Ways of Looking at D’Annunzio

Perhaps to compensate for his not-so imposing physique, lack of good looks, and plebeian background, Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863-1938) embraced excess in everything he did. And he did many things: novelist, playwright, poet, aviator and sailor, a genuine war hero, a narcissist, a drug addict, a gifted rabble-rouser, debt-evader, and a noted womanizer.
posted by Chrysostom on Oct 4, 2012 - 7 comments

Certainly not Hugh Hefner

Who Was Casanova? "Today, Casanova is so surrounded by myth that many people almost believe he was a fictional character. (Perhaps it’s hard to take seriously a man who has been portrayed by Tony Curtis, Donald Sutherland, Heath Ledger and even Vincent Price, in a Bob Hope comedy, Casanova’s Big Night [and many more].)" [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson on Mar 29, 2012 - 20 comments

Casanova's "Histoire de ma vie"

Remembering the pleasures I enjoyed, I renew them, and I laugh at the pains which I have endured and which I no longer feel. Of Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt ‘s Histoire de ma vie, Kenneth Rexroth wrote: Purity, simplicity, definition, impact — these qualities of Homer are those of Casanova too. … He has equals but no superiors in the art of direct factual narrative. ... Time and its ruining passage color all the book. His sense of his own imminent death lurks in the dark background of every brilliantly lit lusty and bawdy tableau. After an unusually colorful history, the manuscript has been donated to France's National Library. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 18, 2010 - 6 comments

Safeguarding Albania's Vulnerable Bull

"Soon were the lofty peaks of Corcyra lost to view;
We coasted along Epirus, and coming to the Chaonian
Harbour, we drew near Buthrotum, that hill city."
- The Aenid - Book III, Virgil (trans. Cecil Day Lewis)
Founded by Trojans, populated by Chaonians, a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, colonized by the Greeks and Romans, sacked by the Goths, ruled by the Slavs, the Byzantine Empire and the Turks, taken by Manfred of Hohenstaufen, purchased by the Most Serene Republic of Venice, invaded by Ali Pasha and Suleiman the Magnificent, eventually becoming a place of refuge for the likes of Casanova and for hunters and painters, the ancient city of Butrint, a microcosm of Mediterranean history, is a World Heritage Site within a National Park which includes a Wetland of International Importance all of which is being kept alive by a partnership of local, national and international organizations . Come and explore Butrint. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Apr 3, 2009 - 12 comments

The Serial Seducer

Meet Paul Janka. He has recently been featured (twice) on NBC's Today Show, as one of New York's finest lotharios. You can also read his 17-page dating manifesto (pdf). Since his television appearance, reaction has varied from highly negative to positive, with little middle ground. Could he represent a new paradigm for dating in a post-feminist world?
posted by smoothvirus on Dec 31, 2007 - 124 comments

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